KINGSTON - Jermaine Blackwood smashed an entertaining counter-attacking half-century but India held the upper hand in reducing the West Indies to 88 for four at lunch on the opening day of the second Test in Kingston on Saturday.  

   Blackwood, who was in danger of being dropped after a double failure in the innings loss in the first Test in Antigua a week earlier, responded with an electrifying innings of 62 with four sixes and seven fours off 62 deliveries to lift the home side from the depths of seven for three.

He completely dominated a fourth-wicket partnership of 81 with Marlon Samuels and offered the sparse opening-day crowd at Sabina Park rich entertainment with a succession of attacking shots off both pacers and spinners. However, his adventurous style always made him vulnerable and he fell in the final over before the interval, adjudged leg-before to Ravichandran Ashwin.

Samuels, who was scoreless for 29 deliveries -- in stark contrast to the explosive batting of his fellow Jamaican at the other end -- resumes in the afternoon session on 14 off 71 balls in partnership with Roston Chase. West Indies were made to regret captain Jason Holder's decision to bat first on winning the toss as India's opening bowlers exploited the vulnerability of the hosts' top order yet again. Ishant Sharma removed Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo off successive deliveries in just his second over. With a reputation of susceptibility to the short ball early in his innings clearly on the fast bowler's mind, Brathwaite failed to negotiate a lifting delivery in Sharma's second over and Cheteshwar Pujara held the simple catch at short-leg.

 Bravo's weakness outside the off-stump was then immediately capitalised upon, the left-hander failing to cover a full-length delivery properly for a delighted Indian captain Virat Kohli to take the catch at first slip.

Rajendra Chandrika, the other opener, then gave catching practice to Lokesh Rahul at second slip as he guided a lifting delivery from Mohammed Shami unerringly into the hands of the fielder. Rahul was an enforced change to the Indian lineup from the first Test triumph as opening batsman Murali Vijay was ruled out because of a thumb injury sustained in the lead-up to the match.

Miguel Cummins is making his Test debut for the West Indies, the 24-year-old fast-medium bowler getting the opportunity at the expense of all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.



K Brathwaite c Pujara b Sharma 1

R Chandrika c Rahul b Shami 5

D Bravo c Kohli b Sharma 0

M Samuels not out 14

J Blackwood lbw Ashwin 62

R Chase not out 0

EXTRAS: (w-2, nb-4) 6

TOTAL: (26 overs, 4 wkts) 88

FOW: 1-4, 2-4, 3-7, 4-88

BOWLING: I. Sharma 6-1-24-2, M. Shami 6-1-13-1, R. Ashwin 4-1-13-1, U. Yadav 5-1-20-0, A. Mishra 5-2-18-0.

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: Aleem Dar (PAK), Ian Gould (ENG)

MATCH REFEREE: Ranjan Madugalle (SLK)